This guide describes how to fix the Low Land Value “bug” that may be plaguing your city.
To reliably produce the dreaded Low Land Value bug, do the following.
- Turn on mod “Hard Mode”.
- Load-in an old working city map.
- Wait a few in-game weeks (it won’t take long). Max out Accelerate Time for quicker results.
The screenshots below illustrate what happened when “Hard Mode” was applied to one of my self-sufficient cities.
The problems started invisibly. Only thing I noticed was that my city’s economy was losing money and I couldn’t tell why. Then Low Land Value messages started popping up. Only a handful at first.
I was really surprised how quickly my working city became plagued with Low Land Value messages. In less than a month, the city’s income took an unrecoverable nosedive. I am not going to bother trying to save the city under this condition.
This is not a bug, per say. “Hard Mode” increases the cost and reduces the effectiveness of city service buildings like medical clinics, fire stations, police stations, and parks. In my opinion, it seems to punish you for building fast.
Since your old working city map was not built to cope with the extra burden of less effective city service buildings, it makes sense that cries of Low Land Value should start popping up as the simulation goes on. If Low Land Value issues are not addressed quickly enough, expect the city’s economy to take a nosedive into the red.
This benefits cities that were not built to handle “Hard Mode”.
For the same city shown in the Problem section, this is how the city’s economy should be.
This is what the city built not under “Hard Mode” conditions looks like. The city’s income is in the green.
And after about a month, things are still looking good. The city’s income is in the green. The RCI indicators show sustained demand for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Zones.
Other Possible Causes
Enabling mod “Hard Mode” may not be the only way to produce the Low Land Value bug. I figure any mod that modifies the game’s default settings for various city service buildings is a possible culprit. Heck, Colossal Order tweaking such city service settings in a future build of “Cities: Skylines” can mess with your old working city.
We cannot do anything about Colossal Order tweaking their game mechanics. I am sure they do what they can to balance the needs of players who do not use DLCs and those who do.
That said, we can do something about custom mods. Use mods at your own risk.
I like mods, myself. Some are so useful I (and others) am surprised they are not integrated into the vanilla game yet. But I tend to stay away from mods that temporarily alter the game mechanics too much. I like mods that if it makes changes, it makes changes that stick, whether the mod is enabled or not. This is just my personal preference.
I say this not to discourage you from experimenting or using these kinds of mods if that is your preference.
If you enjoy using mods that modify the game mechanics, remember this caveat. With said mods enabled, you are building your city to be DEPENDENT ON THEM. You are potentially setting yourself up for self-sabotage. The more mods you use, the higher the chance of self-sabotage.
If, for any reason, you forget to enable these mods for the map built to depend on them, expect chaos to erupt on said map once it is loaded. It might help to write a sticky note about which maps used what mods so you don’t forget.
Even though I use a handful of mods, I enable/disable mods depending on my mood. I do this without thinking how this might affect future gameplay on cities where I did not run those mods. “Fixing” my old working cities devolves into the time-consuming task of enabling/disabling/remembering the right set of mods for these cities to work as they used to.
Mayyyyybe Hard is Good?
Despite the chaos that enabled “Hard Mode” has on cities not built to cope with it, it made me appreciate one thing.
If you play a map on “Hard Mode” and successfully grow the city then what you really did was make a city with an ultra-strong economy. If “Hard Mode” is disabled for such a city, its economy will flourish. This is illustrated below.
Start state of city with “Hard Mode” enabled. The city’s income is in the green and RCI indicators are up.